Spent

Spent ***

Pleasance Dome, Potterow, 1 Bristo Squre, EH8 9AL. 14.55. 3-29th August 2011. £9-9.50 (£7.50-£8.50 concessions). Theatre. Comedy.

A two-person comedy highly acclaimed for its fast paced, intelligent and poetic commentary on the greed that caused the financial crises. At the heart of this clown / buffoon piece is the story of two financial executives who have lost everything in the crash and jump from a building. Winner of the Dora Award for Best Performance (Toronto), two actors play 20 characters from around the world in this physical and comedic tour de force. Created in collaboration with three seasoned international physical theatre companies, this show will have you laughing all the way to the bank. Text supplied by festival and/or promoter.

Review of performance 10th August 2011

Highly topical show at any time over the last five years or so and especially now as we are in the midst of the Euro crisis and this month’s staggering US $14 trillion-dollar debt crisis. Spent is a superb two-man play highlighting the crisis, the world-wide media’s portrayal of it and it’s impact on bankers. The two men play a wide variety of roles in the show and it’s both impressive and funny to observe the clever and speedy switch between characters, accents and countries represented.

The play opens with two men desperately and creatively seeking work and we see everything from success to failure and the perilous individual, personal and global effects of spiralling financial crisis. You could say the regulatory authorities failed to keep a check on bankers activities. I spotted actor Chris Ellison in the front row. Fans of  the recently axed show ‘The Bill’ will better know him as DCI Burnside, the tough talking, no-nonsense Detective. Perhaps the financial markets needed someone like him to  keep the bankers in check?

There’s a nice touch of Laurel and Hardy about the whole show, that generally moves along at a cracking pace, but does over labour the point over the last 20 minutes or show and failed to really shed any further light on the crisis. For that reason the play would have been better of shortened or with new insights/areas covered to highlight other aspects of this drama. What we see essentially is the effects of the people being ‘spent’ so borrowing beyond their means and getting further into debt. The banks were arguably morally bankrupt in making mortgage loans in multiples way beyond the affordability of those being loaned to; bankers selling on debt for which t hey could not pay back if ever called upon to in significant volumes. Ultimately we see the ‘spent’ lives of those former ‘masters of the universe’ who created this financial crisis.

An entertaining and humourous play that fits well with the Edinburgh Fringe spirit.

The Public Reviews

10th August 2011 performance.

Reviews of many more Edinburgh Fringe comedy shows 2011, 2010 and 2007, Scottish National Museums and art galleries, plus plays such as Murder and Mystery on the Menu, Othello and Spent can be read on this blog.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town, 13th August 2011

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